By Fantasy

While CIS and NA/EU are still in their offseason routine with different leagues and tournaments going on, the Thai scene is already back into their HoN Tour rhythm. After Hybrid Gaming conquered the first cycle, then missed the playoffs to surrender their title uncontested to Neolution eSports.MRR, the third cycle is on the finish line. This time both Hybird and MRR might be able to renew their rivalry and clash for the title, while Acer.Dogg is still looking for their first ever HoN Tour cycle title.

An interesting sidenote to these playoffs and this season so far is the fluctuation on top. While Thailand used to be a fairly consistent region with dominant teams like Neolution eSports.MRR, Made in Thailand.Sorry Sorry and Turtle Master reigning supreme for most of the past, plenty of young teams are now surging to the top. As a matter of fact, the constellation of the three teams entering the postseason next weekend will be unique and new once more. Only one team, Neolution eSports.MRR, has reached all three postseason events so far. The others have struggled in any of the three cycles to drop out of the prestigious event at the Garena studios in Bangkok, Thailand. Another big change is the variety of teams fighting for the postseason spots. Before HoN Tour started a big boom in Thailand and poster chilldren like Acer.Dogg and Get Together showcased the “From Rags to Riches” storyline in the competitive environment, the scene was dominated by four entities that were fighting for the postseason spots. Nowadays it’s essentially a giant free-for-all competition with at least seven notable teams having the capability of getting into the Top 3.

While a lot of those teams are established by now, this cycle had an old program return back to their roots of winning. Back at Garena Star League 2013, the moment the world first took notice of the big Thai teams, Kimochi was one of the better and more established teams in the scene. Ever since then the coverage of the region went up, but the performance of Kimochi dropped. Their only big trademark that put them in the spotlight was their logo and the fact that they were sponsored by Tt eSports. Other than that the performances were mediocre and when in G-League, the storylines surrounding them were mostly towards avoiding demotion. Now they seem back and ready to roll. With 30 points in the third cycle they are only four points out of a postseason spots - with standout results already on their resume. While the big win against an established opponent might still be missing, no one can deny them potential anymore.

Against five of the six big opponents they forced a tie, only Neolution eSports.MRR was able to defeat them all season long. In a region where the big star-studded teams are notorious for slumping and dropping matches and games against the lesser opponents, this kind of consistency is outstanding in a young team. One can already draw up parallels between Kimochi.Tt eSports and the other two newer teams like Acer.Dogg and Get Together, who came up to the big show in a similar way. Steady improvement through the standings, edging their way closer and closer to the postseason. Kimochi.Tt eSports is here to stay and the established teams have to take notice of them or the ties quickly turn into crucial losses of not only games, but spots in the rankings.

For now though, the three best teams of Thailand are once more Neolution eSports.MRR, Acer.Dogg and Hybrid Gaming. All three will enter the postseason with a championship on their mind, all three for different reasons. For Neolution eSports.MRR a second win in a row would put them back as the undisputed top team of the region. Ever since their shocking loss in the HoN Tour Season 3 Playoffs against Acer.Dogg, they were around the top spot, but not definitively the best. Back-to-back championships coming off the runner-up spot at the HoN Tour World Finals would solidify that position and move them straight to the throne of Thai HoN.

For Acer.Dogg a Championship would be a historic moment in team history. The team proved already that they are not a fluke and the win over Neo.MRR and Hybrid Gaming in the Semis and Grand FInals of the Season 3 Playoffs were justified and well within their capabilities, but so far they still can’t back up any “non-fluke” claims with actual hardware. Their trophy display following the Thai HoN Tour championship is empty and they are still waiting on the first cycle victory ever. This postseason with the two Thai HoN Tour champs of the past in it, it will be the perfect scenario for them to finally break out of their cycle funk.

Hybrid Gaming will obviously look to shatter the dreams of both of those squads. For the team their own dynasty is possible. A victory here would not only heal the deep wounds of missing the post season last cycle, but would also propel them over their long-time rivals Neo.MRR in terms of cycle wins this season. Their second win would put them firmly into the debate for best Thai team at the moment, a position the core of this team had for almost a year. In that time they represented the Thai region twice in Jönköping, Sweden for the DreamHack festivities, while gathering trophies at home as well. The two-time Thai HoN Tour champion already has a place in the history books of Thai HoN, but is looking to further their standing in relations to their old and new rivals.

To check who is making the most out of their opportunity and who is walking away with a win in the prestigious Thai G-League, tune in to the Youtube channel of Garena Thailand when the casting crew brings you all the action from the heart of the HoN competition in Bangkok, Thailand.

About The Author: Fantasy
Fantasy is a journalist with four years of experience working in various eSports. He is currently the HoN Tour correspondent for the CIS and SEA regions, as well as an editor for both ESL Gaming and compLexity Gaming. In addition to his online endeavors, he studies Publicity and Communication, plays American football, and loves movies.